Mustapha Wasajja – Uganda’s Mysterious Boxing Winner


Mustapha (Mustafa) Wasajja (Wassaja / Wassajja / Wasaja) was born on July 16, 1953 in Kampala, Uganda). As an amateur, Wasajja fought at welter-, light-middle-, and center-excess weight. Wasajja, debilitated by weak point and shakiness for yrs, at some point succumbed to Parkinsonism on April 26 2009, around Kampala in Uganda

In the early 1970’s, Wasajja was beneath the tutelage of Uganda’s legendary and most famous mentor Peter Grace Sseruwagi (Seruwagi) and countrywide trainer Kesi Odongo (who at the 1962 Commonwealth Video games held in Perth in Australia, won a a silver medal in the lightweight division). As a mild-welterweight, Sseruwagi represented Uganda at the 1960 Olympic Video games held in Rome but was eradicated exterior medal contention. Prolonged-time Uganda athletics formal and ex-Uganda army commander Francis (Frank) Nyangweso, a mild-middleweight contender at that time, was also eradicated in the earlier bouts at the similar Online games.

Wasajja’s 1st distinguished intercontinental accomplishment came in the African Beginner Championships held in his indigenous Uganda, in Kampala in November 1974. Wasajja received gold in the middleweight division. Gold medal wins by fellow countrymen James Odwori (Oduori), Ayub Kalule, Vitalis Bbege, Mohamed Muruli jointly with silver medal wins by Ali Rojo and Jacob Odongo, further founded two-time (1970 and 1974) Commonwealth boxing over-all champion Uganda as intercontinental ring grasp. Earlier on in January 1974 at the Commonwealth Games in Christchurch, New Zealand, Wasajja, as Uganda’s middleweight, was in the quarter finals knocked out in the 1st spherical by Les Rackley of New Zealand.

And at the Globe Boxing Championships held in August 1974, Wasajja was outpointed in the quarter-finals by Dragomir Vujkovic of Yugoslavia. An upcoming major outing for the superb Ugandans would have been at the 1976 Olympic Game titles in Montreal in Canada. Lots of African countries, which include Uganda, boycotted these Online games. Noteworthy Ugandan boxers these kinds of as Wasajja, Ayub Kalule, and Cornelius Bbosa (Boza-Edwards), would henceforth transfer into the increasing industry of expert boxing. These were the seeds of the 1980’s golden era of Uganda boxing through which Ugandans, notably Ayub Kalule, Cornelius Boza-Edwards, and John “the Beast” Mugabi became qualified earth champions.

Of notice is that a tune up for the 1976 Olympic Online games included the intercontinental Pre-Olympic Boxing Tournament held in Montreal from November 27 to December 1, 1975. Uganda was represented by Wasajja (middleweight), hard punching and dreaded knockout professional and Africa Champion Vitalis Bbege (welterweight), and Jacob Odonga (gentle-heavyweight). Only Wasajja emerged winner, when his counterparts were defeated in their finals. In the quarter-finals, Wasajja extensively outpointed Pietro Contarini of Canada. This was adopted by Wasajja beating Jacobus Schmidt of Holland on factors. The finals associated Wasajja beating Bryan Gibson of Canada by 4:1. Vitalis (Vitalish) Bbege was also scheduled to combat for Uganda at the upcoming but aborted Olympics. Bbege before long moved to West Germany (FDR) in which he boxed as a club novice and even represented Germany at a dual helpful with the United States. He is properly settled in Germany with family members and he is a conditioning and boxing coach in Flensburg.

Wasajja fought in 28 formal fights as a specialist boxer. These fights of Wasajja took put from March 1977 to March 1983, and Wasajja grew to become a major-ten planet contender as a light-weight-heavyweight and cruiserweight from the late 1970’s to the mid-1980’s. Apart from his last 3 fights, his bouts basically took put in Denmark and Norway. Of his only specialist wins and one draw (25 bouts), 76% of them went the distance, Wasajja registering 24% as knocks-outs of his opponents. Wasajja stood out as a southpaw, a generally agile, rapidly, and stamina endowed puncher who would endure all the rounds other than deliver as a electricity knockout pugilist.

On September 9, 1978 in Copenhagen, Wasajja technically knocked out famous former earth light-heavyweight Bob (Robert Lloyd) Foster with a retirement in the 5th spherical. The lanky 6’3″ tall Foster, regarded as a person of the world’s all-time (gentle-heavyweights) greats experienced about the yrs been in many vicious battles with noteworthy fighters, like epic heavyweights like Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, and Ernie Terrel. He is regarded as the greatest boxer to have hailed from the Usa point out of New Mexico. Foster realized mixed results when battling the heavyweight boxers. Foster had also retired various periods and manufactured comebacks. When Foster battled Wasajja, he was aged 40 and without doubt way previous his prime. Right after just one a lot more fight thereafter (a rematch with Bob Hazelton in which Foster was knocked), Foster would retire for the previous time. Wasajja was only 25 at that time. Foster lay his gloves down, ending with a marvelous 56 wins (46 by knockout) and 8 losses.

From his skilled debut in March 1977 right until February 13, 1982, Wasajja achieved a 100% successful streak. It was then that he battled legendary Michael Spinks (later to grow to be Entire world Heavyweight Champion) for the mild-heavyweight crown, in the New Jersey Atlantic City in the United states. Wasajja’s crossing the Atlantic for a opportunity at the belt, spelled his demise. Prior to the battle with Spinks, Wasajja, regarded as a secret guy (whose names had been challenging to spell) by the American followers and writers turned the selection one ranked contender for the WBA light-heavyweight crown. Beforehand, in 1980, Wasajja had become the 3rd-ranked WBA contender.

Subsequently, Wasajja was knocked out by Spinks in the sixth spherical, and thus failed to seize the Entire world Boxing Association (WBA) title. In July of the exact yr, Wasajja shed his next bout (which went the length) to Tony Mundine in France, and thereafter in Lusaka (Zambia), Wasajja was knocked out by Zambian Lottie Mwale in only a few rounds, and thus failing to capture the British Commonwealth Light-weight-heavyweight title. At age 29 Wasajja experienced fought his previous skilled struggle. Undoubtedly, the final 3 have been bouts were being Wasajja’s hardest and most significant they were towards recreation opponents. Regrettably, it was in the 3 that Wasajja succumbed. These three appreciably wounded and uncovered Wasajja’s weaknesses. Nevertheless, Wasajja founded himself as just one of the greatest Uganda boxers, and substantially as 1 of the biggest between the groundbreaking Uganda skilled boxers.

Of notice, Lottie Mwale, who was the identical age as Wasajja, boxed professionally right up until 1994 he stands out as one particular of the greatest of African boxers. He participated in 53 professional bouts received most of them by knockout and was also an African Boxing Union (ABU) winner. The best Zambian boxer succumbed in 2005, at age 53, to Parkinsonism which is the exact same affliction that legendary Muhammad Ali endures. Zambians, with their really like for boxing, seemingly harbor an appreciably enduring memory of Mustapha Wasajja. And Zambians, have for a long time been common boxing rivals of Ugandans. Charles Chisamba, the Zambian gentle-heavyweight champion, carries the nickname, “Wasajja” (“Wasaja”). On January 24, 2009 in Lusaka, Chisamba outpointed Tanzania’s Mbaruku Kheri in an African Boxing Union (ABU) light-weight-heavyweight vacant title and so turned Africa winner. Wasajja has guided youthful and promising boxers at Mulago Yellow Boxing Club, some of whom have starred as gurus abroad…predominantly in Europe, notably in the Scandinavian nations around the world.

In an October 8 2005 article by Moses Mugalu in the Uganda newspaper “Day-to-day Keep track of,” Wasajja is mentioned to discuss about possessing invested in Kenya businesses (collectively with extensive-time boxing counterpart Ayub Kalule) after retirement from boxing, on until 1990. But Wasajja claimed to have at some point been duped by Kenyan small business counterparts a consequence of which he became a poverty-stricken slum dweller in Mulago in Kampala. His five youngsters had been likewise battling, some young and not enrolled in faculty. Wasajja recounted his memorable amateur exhibition bout with his govt President, Idi Amin, quickly following Wasajja gained the Africa Championships title in the series held in Kampala in 1975. Wasajja was obligated to get rid of in that puppet bout. In the “Watch” interviews, Wasajja is described as weakly, frail, shaky, and once in a while stammering,” but that both equally his memory and speech are fairly focused and very clear and he maintains his pleasure and humor.

In the Uganda newspaper, “Bukedde,” dated July 28 2008, an ailing bedridden Wasajja mentions to Ibrahim Katongole that it is his kids Rehemah Namuddu, Nakayiwa and Salif Abdul who have a tendency to him. According to a previous national boxer, Charles Lubulwa, some of Wasajja’s sufferings stemmed from disconnecting himself from the boxing bodies and folks that experienced utilized him and supported him throughout his boxing career overseas. They experienced, largely, shed call with him.

As regards the memorable struggle with Michael Spinks in which he shed in 1982, Wasajja strongly suspects that food presented to him prior to the fight (in Atlantic Metropolis, New Jersey) was tainted and therefore weakened and disabled him: he claimed that foul engage in was included in his dropping the fight. This was Wasajja’s most memorable and most prestigious combat. And who realized? Wasajja fought with the two Spinks brothers who grew to become earth heavyweight champions! One of the brothers conquer Muhammad Ali, and the other was crushed by Mike Tyson, among the other items! Also, notably, Wasajja fought in the course of an period regarded as a golden one particular for light-weight-heavyweights. These involved Michael Spinks, Dwight Mohammed Qawi (previously Dwight Braxton), Eddie Mustafa Muhammad (previously Eddie Gregory), Marvin Johnson, and Mathew Saad Muhammad (formerly Mathew Franklin, and born Maxwell Antonio Loach).

Wasajja was a noteworthy novice Uganda boxing champion and an Africa newbie boxing winner, but his wins ended up not as a lot of or as putting as all those of his counterparts this kind of as Ayub Kalule and James Odwori. In the professional ranks he rose to distinguished heights, but he did not earn that coveted earth title. Wasajja’s fame is intertwined with his getting a mysterious Ugandan winner, 1 who had photographs at both earth title and the Africa qualified title but came small of winning. Wasajja, Uganda’s mysterious winner turned outstanding as one of Uganda’s revolutionary experienced boxers, a single of all those who had the audacity to obstacle some of the best boxers on the globe.

Leave a Reply